Baby’s First Steps
Taking your child’s first steps is one of the most exciting milestones for any parent. It’s been exciting to see your child smile and walk for the first time. Between the ages of 10 and 18 months, most babies start walking. Before a child learns to walk, they go through numerous developmental stages, including sitting, crawling, pulling up, and standing. Parents can help their children learn to walk by doing a few things.
When your baby starts walking, everything changes! There are several things every parent should know about their baby’s motor skills and development at this special moment. It takes a long time for a baby to progress from sitting to walking. You can help your child move around regardless of where they are at developmentally with walking.
There are different stages in a baby’s walking progression: standing while being supported, standing wobbly, standing completely independently, taking their first unsteady and unbalanced steps, and full-on walking then cruising effortlessly are all milestones you’re likely to reach during the process. In this article, you will learn how to safely encourage your young one to walk, as well as some helpful tips. Take a look at these guidelines to learn how to teach a baby to walk.
Teaching Your Baby To Walk
The time when your baby learns to stand up on her own and take her first steps is one of the most memorable of them all. Here are some crucial milestones or stages in a baby’s walking development.
Step 1: Make Your Home Baby-Proof
It will be much easier to teach your child to walk if you know you live in a secure environment. First and foremost, you must prepare your child for success:
- Remove any junk from your flooring that could cause tripping risks.
- Place sensitive ornamental pieces elsewhere.
If you’re having trouble babyproofing the entirety of your home, consider closing off areas that are particularly dangerous or creating a secure zone by gating off a safe region of your home.
Step-2: Walking Exercises For Your Baby
Your baby can benefit from many exercises to improve balance, build strength and get ready for walking.
The Baby Stool Method: When your kid can sit without assistance, place her on a small stool or a small chair of sorts with no support for their back. With their knees and hips at a 90-degree angle, ideally the child’s fet are on the floor so they may push against the ground. Put a toy on the floor and ask them to pick it up, then sit back on the stool. Moving the toy around will help them reach it and work out various muscles. This practice will strengthen your baby’s leg, back, and shoulder muscles. It also helps your child to support her weight by allowing her to place her feet directly beneath her body.
Baby Bounce: The bouncing child exercise improves strength while the sitting on a stool activity improves balance. Allow the child to stand on your lap. Begin bouncing your child with their feet on your legs. If the baby isn’t bouncing straight away, you’ll be holding their hands and moving their arms up and down to get them going.
Toy Capture: Tie a brightly colored ribbon around a small, soft toy. Let the baby play with it while it moves in front of them. It will entice the baby to reach out and grab it. As the baby leans into the grip, this will improve hand-eye coordination while also assisting with balance.
Kick while Cruising: This is a great activity for your child. You can place a ball near her feet as she walks next to the sofa, supported by the furniture. If you repeatedly raise your leg, she will start kicking the ball out of the way by accident. Keep the ball near both of her feet if you want her to practice kicking the ball with both feet.
Bubble Gaze: Blow bubbles with your youngster on a bouncy chair. Keep a watch on the child as they follow the bubbles with their eyes. They might even try to pop one with their hand! This is one of the most basic yet effective baby activities for fine-tuning motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Step-3: Teaching Your Baby To Cruise
Arrange your furniture to make it easier for your child to walk. Cruising occurs when your child begins to walk around using furniture and other surfaces/objects for support. Make a secure line with your furniture, ensuring it’s fully baby-proofed, so your kid can easily walk around by themselves. Once your baby begins to cruise, it’s a smart idea to re-childproof your home because they’ll be able to reach new heights and perhaps new dangers.
Get a push toy for your baby. A push toy, such as a little shopping cart or a miniature tractor, will help your child practice cruising. It will also help them gain control as they walk, improve their balance, and increase their self-assurance. Starting with a toy without wheels is a good choice for babies just learning to cruise just by themselves. Then, once your child has gained enough strength, introduce a wheeled push toy. Check that the push toy is solid and has a decent gripping bar or handle and large wheels, as this will make it more difficult for the toy to tip over.
Raise your child to a standing position with your help. Allow your baby to grasp your fingers and bring them up to a standing position and allow them to support their own weight. Encourage them to stroll around with their arms supported by you. The more time you give your infant to exercise their legs, the sooner they’ll try to walk on their own.
Encourage your child for their achievements. Most babies appear to be born with a natural desire to please their parents and receive praise, claps, and encouraging comments. So show your infant that they’re doing a good job standing or walking by giving them visual praise and encouragement. If your child refuses to stand or walk with your assistance, don’t force them. This can make your child afraid, preventing them from standing or walking.
Step 4: Let Them Walk Barefoot
Early walking does not necessitate the use of shoes. In fact, it may be preferable to allow your baby to explore their surroundings barefoot at first. When babies start to walk, they absorb a lot of information from their feet. Their brains adapt the movements of their muscles and joints to match the texture of various surfaces – hardwood, carpet, grass.
Medical therapists often advise keeping the baby without shoes and barefoot as much as possible. Typically, babies depend on their sense of touch to help them know their surroundings, and having the capacity to feel the floor or the ground, a baby may modify their posture and change the way they stand, as necessary. Varied surfaces necessitate different uses of joints, muscles, and overall balance and posture, because an infant can’t navigate their surroundings of foot interaction to ground because their shoes are blocking it, this developmental learning process is hampered. So always keep your baby barefoot, as this strengthens the muscles in the foot, allowing them to be more stable.
Step 5: Climb The Staircase
If your baby gets bored while they are on or near the ground or floor, the staircase is the perfect place for him to move. It is obvious that while doing this activity, you will need right by your baby’s side. Allow your youngster to carefully climb the steps by hand, knee, and foot. This is a full-body workout that targets all muscle groups. A ramp can be used if you don’t have any steps in your home.
Your baby’s leg and backbone muscles will be strengthened as they climb the steps. In addition, it allows for what is known as “lower body dissociation.” As a result, your kid will be careful to differentiate between upper and their lower body’s movements.
Step-6: The Sound Of A Squeak
While some kids prefer to learn to walk barefoot, others prefer to wear shoes with a tiny noise maker inside. Some babies choose shoes for their comfort and support over others! The squeakiness of their shoes may generate a lot of noise and may motivate them to stay on their feet in search of more squeaks. If you can’t find squeaky shoes, add some bells to the laces for an added jingle. If you just so happened to be good with music and musical shoes aren’t your baby’s cup of tea, consider the next recommendation down below.
Step-7: Walking Games For Your Baby
Some games are supposed specifically for children who are starting to walk, and they can be an enjoyable exercise for both you and your baby.
Balls in a basket: Scatter balls or toys on the floor while keeping a basket at a safe distance. Now encourage her to pick up toys and carry them to the basket, where they will be placed. If it’s true that it’s possible your young one can stand up and cruise beside a sofa, you can encourage her to play this game by placing the toys and basket on either end of the sofa. This can help with coordination and leg muscle development. It might even inspire your child to take her first steps.
Pass the balloon: Have your child stand on top of a sofa or furniture while you push a balloon towards her, and she taps it back to you. Even if she isn’t completely confident about standing and doing this, you can allow her to sit and do the same. This will aid in the development of hand-eye coordination as well as the strengthening of core muscles.
Wheelbarrow walk: Place your baby on her stomach on a floor or a soft surface for a wheelbarrow walk. Pull her up by her trunk and legs as she rests on her stomach, then hold on to her with care while she gently walks on her hands. This is a vital practice for babies to develop upper body strength.
Step-8: Play Some Songs
A baby listening to their first music is one of the cutest things we’ve ever seen. It’s impossible to describe how wonderful it is to see a baby’s light up with joy and to see them moving their bodies in ways they may have not previously done before. They’re figuring out how to move to those great beats! And, as it turns out, listening to music may also help them walk faster.
Step-9: Supporting Your Baby’s Walking through Positive Affirmations
Words of encouragement and positive affirmations are extremely important in parenting. Our deepest desires as humans is to be cherished by those closest to us, our our loved ones and our families, and make no exception – our children are included in this bunch as well. Be sure to congratulate your child on even the little accomplishments. Your baby will surely like the positive re-affirming and the sense of self-achievement, which means they may continue to attempt to stand up and eventually walk as a result of this positive encouragement and to make mama and papa (And themselves) very proud!
Avoid making comparisons between your baby’s development, including other babies. Don’t be frightened if your baby doesn’t walk at a specific age. Due to varying body weights or even different personalities, the time it takes for a baby to attain a specific goal, such as walking, can vary. Please remember that a walking schedule is simply a guideline and not an absolute requirement for every child. If you hold your child’s hands for balance, you can encourage independent stepping while walking with them.
Step-10: Put Down Your Baby To Allow The Chance To Walk
You’re used to carrying your kid around everywhere, but now is the time to be sure to allow them to walk towards you. It’s true what when a mother (or father, or anyone for that matter), continually carries a baby, they may become lazy, not wanting to walk because they are well aware that their mother will normally come and pick them up so they don’t have to walk. All parents love their kids, so allowing them to achieve their own independence by growing at their own pace and allowing them to learn about the things they want to learn about will only benefit them in the future. Allow them to stand alone by themselves, without any help, now and again.
Your baby will reach several developmental milestones during her early childhood. One of the most memorable moments in your baby’s life is when she learns to stand up on her own. If you’ve read this far, you already know how to teach a baby to walk. There are various things you can do to carefully promote your child’s movement and help them develop the muscles they’ll need to support their bodies in this new mode of transportation.
If you’re worried about your baby’s progress toward this milestone, talk to your pediatrician or schedule an appointment with Early Intervention. However, keep in mind that some babies walk sooner than others, and there’s not really a rush to push a baby to walk too soon- they will learn and grow at their own pace.